The day-to-day grind of a law practice is grueling enough for anyone. With current clients taking up your time, it can be easy to forget to continue optimizing your marketing efforts. There are, however, a few quick ways to make sure you’re on the right track. If you’re a law firm looking to grab a few new clients, you’re in luck. We’ve outlined three steps for ramping up client intake from your website that are super simple, but easily overlooked.
First, your site has to get noticed by standing out among your competitor’s sites. Once they’re there, your site has to convince them to give you a call. Then, of course, you have to be prepared to promptly answer every call that comes your way to get the client.
1. Get noticed
It goes without saying that if your firm can’t be found from an online search, you’re depriving yourself of the biggest opportunity for new business. Word of mouth is undeniably powerful, but simply doesn’t allow the scope of the all-encompassing Google search. Therefore, making sure search engines favor your firm is essential.
There are two main ways to accomplish this:
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimization (SEO). Though they’re carried out in different ways and require different resources, both are proven to be effective. As often is the case, the decision between the two will boil down to what you’re willing to spend more of: money or time.
PPC advertising involves paying search engines for ad placement on their sites based on keywords. You pay a small fee for each click on your ad, and easily expand your reach. Relatively little effort is required, and the potential for return is significant: only 24% of people reported actively avoiding paid ads when looking for a lawyer, which means that nearly 75% of people are willing to click on one.
SEO, on the other hand, is absolutely free, but it’ll take some time to start seeing results. SEO involves a variety of strategies for making sure your site appears in search results: creating specialized content, marketing via social media, negotiating backlinks with other websites—it’s a fairly new practice with nearly limitless possibilities. If you’ve got time for some experimentation, SEO can work for you.
If you’re not ranking in search results and are a bit uncomfortable with search marketing, there are companies that specialize in SEO for all types of businesses that can handle it for you. In the meantime, this should help you get started.
2. Get the call
Give them what they want
Driving traffic to your website is just the beginning. Once you’ve done so, the goal is to convince visitors to pick up their phone and call you by filling your site with the right content.
Exactly what information are visitors looking for when they get to your website? A 2017 study by iLawyerMarketing.com asked respondents to list five pieces of information that would most impact their decision to hire a lawyer:
This graph is an invaluable guide to knowing what influences a potential client’s decision, aka what you need on your website. If you’ve got these bases covered, your potential client’s questions are answered before they even have to ask them.
…where they want it
The same survey asked respondents what device(s) they’re most likely to use when searching for a law firm.
An overwhelming amount of respondents use either JUST a smartphone, or a combination of smartphones and personal computers when searching for lawyers online.
What this means: your website has to run just as smoothly from a mobile device as it does from a personal computer. Remember, if they do get around to calling you, it’ll likely be from the same device they used to find your website in the first place. When designing a mobile-friendly website, consider the following:
- Responsive design that detects the user’s screen size, and automatically adjusts the display accordingly
- Font size: you should use at least 14px font for a mobile-friendly website to avoid making users have to zoom in to read the site’s content
- Button size: the bigger, the better to avoid the chance of accidentally pressing the wrong button
Please. Don’t forget the phone number.
74 percent of those who begin a search for an attorney online end up contacting via phone
72 percent of those seeking local professional services are “extremely likely” or “very likely” to call if a phone number is available from search results
65 percent of people find it “extremely important” or “very important” to be able to call a business during the research phase of decision making
68 percent find it “extremely important” or “very important” to be able to call a business once they’re ready to purchase.
What does this mean? Having a phone number accessible during every step of interaction with your website is just about the most important thing you can do in this process. You want to provide a visitor with an effortless transition from browsing your website to speaking with you on the phone. There are a few ways to do this:
- Providing a phone number directly from search engine results
- Featuring all of your contact information at the top and bottom of every page on your site
- Adding a page to your website specifically for contact information, including a contact form where visitors can leave a message without having to leave your website to go to their email
- A local phone number if you find your clients prefer to work with a local firm
- A toll-free number if you want to portray a larger or nationwide image.
3. Get the client
They’ve looked through your site, decided that you might be a good fit for them, and they’re ready to call—there’s even a decent chance they’re ready to do business. Are your phones ready?
Answering every call promptly is imperative—it might be your only chance to gain a client.
However, you’re busy. If you or a receptionist personally answered every call that came in, you wouldn’t get anything else done. Not to mention the calls that come in on nights or weekends, each of which are a missed opportunity if left unanswered. If you find yourself unable to answer all of your calls, a 24/7 live answering service is a great option to help pick up the slack. Imagine the phone experience of an in-house receptionist, available at all hours at a fraction of the cost.
The answering services of yore deservedly got a bad reputation for outsourced call centers, untrained agents, and long wait times, none of which are traits anyone wants associated with their business. Thankfully, those times are behind us.
With the right answering service backing you up, you’ll never miss another call. When considering your options, remember that they’re not all created equal. Keep an eye out for these key features:
- Availability 24/7
- Agents based in the U.S
- Experience with law firms
Did you catch all of that?
Three simple, but not-so-obvious steps to making sure your website is the best it can be. Remember, the sharpest tool in the shed isn’t very useful if no one knows the shed is there. Do you have any tricks that have helped your website stand out? We’d love to hear them. Share them with us in the comments!